Your Ultimate Checklist for Selling a House

Several houses in a cul-de-sac street.

Are you thinking of selling your home in New Jersey, but feel intimidated by the complex home-selling process? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will learn about the top steps home sellers need to take, including house upgrades and landscaping work.

In the guide below, check out the checklist for selling houses and other real estate properties. You will learn the top pre-listing steps and the importance of home staging during the home-selling process. 

Are you ready to learn more about the home selling checklist? Then keep reading!

Checklist for Selling House

There are specific steps you will need to take before you list your home on the real estate market. These steps are:

  • Hiring a real estate agent
  • Improving curb appeal to boost the first impression among potential buyers
  • Decluttering and cleaning the inside of the home
  • Removing family photos, knickknacks, and other personal items displayed in the house
  • Hiring a home stager or staging the rooms by yourself

Do you have a good relationship with the realtor who helped you find your current home? If so, you may want to hire them again. Otherwise, ask your family members and friends to recommend a good real estate agent.

When improving curb appeal, you may want to paint your front door, repave your driveway and walkway, plant a few flowerbeds, and replace an old mailbox.

When decluttering the house, throw away or donate old items you no longer use. Make sure that the closets aren’t stuffed, as buyers are likely to look through closets to determine storage area.

Also, make sure to put away valuables and personal items to leave the home as bare as possible for showings. 

You can hire a home staging professional to decorate your home and attract more prospective buyers. While you may spend more money on new furniture and home stagers, it may bring you more offers on the house and a larger offer than you thought possible. 

Other steps for your home selling checklist include:

  • Communicating with your realtor
  • Keeping your home clean and free of clutter
  • Remaining patient while waiting on offers
  • Signing the purchase and sales agreement
  • Completing renovations or repairs after a home inspection
  • Packing up your items for the move
  • Getting your paperwork together for the closing process
  • Hiring a maid/cleaning service
  • Completing a final walk-through
  • Shutting off utilities
A homeseller going through a checklist before selling his home.

Things To Check Before Selling Your House

There are numerous detailed steps you also need to take before actually starting home showings or holding open houses. Homeowners should declutter their homes and clean the entire property. More specifically, you should:

  • Remove dust bunnies from shelves and high places along with corners
  • Use air freshener sprays or candles to make your home smell better
  • Put in brighter light bulbs and open up the blinds to bring more light to the rooms
  • Clean the countertops, glass windows, and wooden doors
  • Paint your doorframes and any trim to add curb appeal
  • Keep the doorknobs and light switches clean
  • Organize and straighten your pantry including sweeping the kitchen floor
  • Remove extra dishes, cups, and pots or pans from your cabinets
  • Turn on the ceiling fans and cool down the house before home showings
  • Clean the bathrooms, add fresh toilet paper rolls, and remove filled trash bags

Furthermore, you will need to declutter your garage and possibly paint it. Generally, you’ll want to paint the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms using neutral colors.

Empty your hampers and take out all trash before holding showings. Make sure your sink is empty of dirty dishes and no gunk is clogging it. 

Along with these steps, you will also need to complete some home repairs before selling your place.

House Repair Checklist

Even in a seller’s market, buyers will likely require you to complete a home inspection and complete specific house repairs after the inspection.

Easy house repairs before selling the property may include fixing light fixtures, patching holes in the patios or decks, and repairing broken faucets or other plumbing problems.

The top home repairs you will want to pursue include:

  • Fill in potholes and cracks in the driveway and walkways
  • Fixing your doorbell if it’s broken
  • Repairing the gutters or installing new ones
  • Replacing cracked windows
  • Fixing the roof if there are missing shingles
  • Replacing burnt-out lightbulbs
  • Fixing any leaks and water damage
  • Repairing windows if they’re hard to open
  • Replacing outdated faucets, toilets, and cabinets
  • Removing and restoring cracked tiles and broken fixtures 

House Improvements Checklist

You may need to do several home repairs after the buyer requests a home inspection. Yet, to get a better home value and larger asking price on your house, you will want to conduct multiple home improvement projects before listing your residence on the housing market.

The various home improvement projects you’ll want to complete include finishing the floors, putting in new countertops and cabinets in the kitchen, renovating the bathrooms, and painting your walls. For instance, you can repair your bathroom fixtures and install new faucets. 

You may also want to put in new windows throughout the house and fix up any electrical or plumbing issues. Furthermore, you should also figure out whether a home improvement project is cosmetic, a partial renovation, or a complete renovation.

You may need to hire a contractor to complete certain upgrades. When doing so, budget the cost for home improvements, define a time frame for the renovations, and sign a contract with the carpenters, contractors, electricians, and/or plumbers.

House Marketing Checklist

When marketing your property, you can either work with a real estate agent who would complete the marketing for you, or you can bypass the realtor and advertise the house yourself. If you want to avoid realtor commission fees, you can sell the house yourself. 

In that case, you will need to follow the steps below when marketing your house.

  • Install a “For Sale” sign
  • Get professionally designed “Just Listed” postcards
  • Hold an open house
  • Use social media marketing techniques including on Facebook and Instagram
  • Provide a virtual tour of the home and create a YouTube video
  • List your house on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Post your home on real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and RedFin

Research from the National Association of Realtors states that nine out of ten home buyers search online for houses with 52 percent starting their process online.

As such, home sellers must advertise their property online whether they use real estate websites, virtual tours, videos, or social media sites. 

Documents for Selling Checklist

The documents needed when selling a house include the purchase and sales agreement, the original sales contract when you bought the house, and a home appraisal.  A few other home-selling documents you will need include:

  • Your mortgage statement or payoff amount
  • Homeowners’ property insurance paperwork
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) documentation
  • Home repairs and maintenance receipts and warranties
  • Receipts for major renovations and installations
  • Home repair manuals
  • Utility bills
  • The listing agreement between you and your realtor
  • A comparative marketing analysis document
  • The agreed-upon marketing plan

These documents aren’t all you’ll need for selling a house. You may need a seller’s net sheet, which will detail how much profit you will make from your home sale,

You will also require a preliminary title report, disclosure statements like asbestos or lead-based paint disclosures, a pre-inspection report, and a contingency removal form. 

Process Selling Checklist

Once you have an offer on the table, you will need to follow several basic steps to complete the home sale. You will need to sign a sales and purchase agreement. You can add contingencies to the home sales contract as well.

Next, you should gather all the money you’ll need. You will have to pay for closing costs including real estate attorney fees, outstanding HOA fees, property taxes, and escrow fees. You will also need to set aside the funds for the capital gains tax and moving expenses.

The last steps include gathering closing documentation, such as a seller’s disclosure document, deed and transfer paperwork, closing disclosure form, and a government-issued photo ID.

On closing day, you will meet with your realtor and real estate attorney to fill out the necessary paperwork and complete the sale. 

Conclusion

The basic checklist for selling houses and other residential properties in New Jersey may seem complex, but you should successfully sell your home with the help of a real estate agent.

However, if you are a veteran in home selling, you may want to pursue a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) house sale. 

That means you can forego working with a listing agent and no longer have to pay for the realtor commission fees. Without a realtor, the best way you can complete the sale is to seek out cash home buyers in New Jersey.

Further, if you want to sell a house fast in Cherry Hill, cash buyers can finish a home sale in only a couple of weeks. Luckily, we buy houses Camden residents love, so call us today!

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